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Home » 5 Simple Tips to Building a New Habit and Changing Your Life! Ep 030

5 Simple Tips to Building a New Habit and Changing Your Life! Ep 030

#030 – Creating good habits is not easy, but is key to making changes or achieving big goals in your life. In this episode, I will share 5 tips (+ a bonus tip) on how you can create a new habit along with how I created a habit to run a 90-day winter running streak. 

About your Inspire Virtual Runs Host
Richard Conner
Richard is a strategic marketing professional with experience in B2B marketing. Richard is the founder of Inspire Virtual Runs and is passionate about helping others reach their goals. He is a Connecticut native and is a husband, dad, writer, Star Wars fan, and of course – runner! Richard recently discovered obstacle course racing and has fully embraced this new obsession.

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Richard Conner 0:00

Richard Conner 0:01

Welcome to Episode 30. I want to take this opportunity to do a solo episode to share with you some updates with Inspire Virtual Runs, as well as share my journey with my 90 day winter running streak. And the habits though I was able to build as a result of that, and what I learned along the way about breaking down mental barriers, hope you enjoy. Here’s what you can look forward to on this episode of Inspire Virtual Runs podcast. So I could do it every day, and not make up those excuses. Now, don’t get me wrong. I had a lot of excuses during the 90 days a lot. The weather was terrible. This was probably the most brutal winter that we’ve had in the northeast in a very long time. Quite honestly, I should have taken on this challenge like the year before. This winter was brutal. I was running in the rain. I was running in the snow. It was windy it was it was brutal.

Intro/Outro 1:03

Welcome to Inspire Virtual Runs Podcast, whether you are new to running or seasoned, get tips and the inspiration that you need to achieve your health and fitness goals. Now, here’s your host, Richard Conner.

Richard Conner 1:21

Hi, everyone, Welcome to Inspire Virtual Runs Podcast. I want to start off this episode by just saying thank you to the Inspire Virtual Runs community, to our listeners, to the folks in the Facebook group, just want to say thank you. Today, we are have reached Episode 30, which is a big deal in the podcasting world. And I’m so grateful for my guests, and all of you listening out there, providing your feedback and comments. This has been truly an amazing journey. And I’m looking forward to so many more episodes to come. And in addition to that, we have also reached 1000 downloads, and super excited about that as well. I hope this podcast is providing value to you. And again, really looking for feedback on topics you want to hear to help you in your own personal health and fitness journey. So let’s dive into the topic of the five tips to create a new habit. You can make big changes in your life. If you take small steps, big changes don’t happen overnight. But each one of us are capable of taking those small steps to achieve those those big goals. And the best way to do that is to create a daily habit. Now I’d like to share my journey with my 90 day winter running streak and the habit that I had to build to accomplish that. And I’ll start off by sharing a little bit about why I decided to go for a 90 day winter running streak, but also talk about what it actually do. And blend that in with the five habits that I’d like to share with you. So why did I do this? Why did I take on this challenge of a 90 day winter running streak living in New England northeastern part of the US. Winters are sometimes cold, sometimes mild, but definitely not comfortable to be outside for, let’s say the later part of winter. And I was inspired to take on this challenge, actually through two conversations that I’ve had right here on Inspire Virtual Runs Podcast. The first one is, during my conversation, finish lines now finish times with David Hampson. David talked a lot about winter running and how to prepare for winter running and how to actually enjoy it. And he talked about how he likes to run outside versus indoors on the treadmill. And he is has a similar climate if not colder than where I am. He talks a little bit about his experience and that really inspired me to want to run in the winter. Just considering where we’re at in the pandemic at that time. We I didn’t feel comfortable going to the gym. And if I didn’t run for three months because I didn’t want to run outdoors which at the time I despised I would have lost a lot a lot of gains in terms of my running, and I really didn’t want to do that. So taking on this challenge to run outdoors and kind of keeping up with my fitness during the winter was very appealing to me. And this kind of was my inspiration. Now, that’s one aspect of it. That’s the winter running so the running streak actually came from another conversation. Motivations to Run for Fitness and Fun with Brian Doerr. This is a great conversation to have with Brian Brian’s a longtime friend, and he talked about his 712 day running streak. Which is absolutely amazing. And I didn’t even know this about him when we had the conversation. And I was really inspired that he was able to do this every day for 712 days. So again, I’m like, wow, I want to continue running, can’t do it indoors, because I don’t really want to feel comfortable going to the gym. And having a running streak is actually an interesting way to motivate and inspire me to run every day, during the winter. So those are the two conversations that I had. And I kind of put it together and said, This is what I’m going to do a 90 day winter running streak. And let’s just kind of see how it goes. So that’s really the start, or the inspiration for what I what I started to do. And now we’ll talk a little bit about kind of those five tips to help build those habits because I wasn’t in the habit of running every day. First off, I ran as part of my workout or I ran as part of my training for a race. But I didn’t run every day. And I didn’t run outdoors. So this was a new habit for me to become accustomed to doing this running outdoors everyday in the winter. So the first tip, and there’s many tips out there. Actually, before I get into it, there are many tips out there on how to build new habits. And this is critically important not only for fitness and running, which is obviously what we talked about here. But this applies to every part of your life. And this is I feel like if you’re a runner, or if you’re in fitness, and you have these habits, you can apply this in other parts of your life and be successful. So let me just kind of jump into these five tips that you’ll find many tips out there, books, podcasts, but I’ll share with you five tips as well as my own story.

The first one is focus on one new habit. If you attempt to do too much, you’re just setting yourself up for failure, which is actually a personal challenge that I have, I always feel really motivated and really inspired. And I just want to do everything all at once because I think I can and I cannot. So it’s really important to focus on that one new habit. And then for me, that was really running outside every day, every day through the winter. That’s all I was I was going to do. And that was my focus. I didn’t do any other fitness goals. I wasn’t training for a half marathon or a marathon, I wasn’t trying to improve my speed. My one goal was running outdoors every day during winter to maintain my fitness level. The second tip is start winning with a very small habit, you have to make it easy to want to do it. If it’s very, very difficult, you’re going to come up with a lot of reasons as to why you can’t do it or can’t do it that day. So you have to make it small enough where you can build that build that habits easy enough for you to do it. And you build that habit over time. And of course, you can increase whatever it is that you’re trying to achieve. But when you start, you start small. And in my case, my goal was really to run one mile, every day, during winter, just one mile. Now, having run a 5k most of my life More more recently run 10K’s and then my first half marathon late last year, one mile isn’t really a lot. It’s less than 10 minutes, and I’m really just getting warmed up. In fact, I actually had someone in the Inspire Virtual Runs community comment on that they said, um, how does it feel just to run one mile? Like, aren’t you just kind of getting warmed up? And the answer is yes. Right. But again, my focus was to build that one new habit, which is to run every day. And I needed to make it as easy as possible for myself. So if I made it two miles or three miles, I could have made a lot of excuses not to do it. I could have said, Well, you know what, I don’t have the time to run three miles today because I have other commitments with my job or with the family. Or I’m not gonna run three miles every day and then potentially get hurt. And then what do I do or feel the need that I need need to recover? But I can’t do that because I have to run everyday so I needed to make it as small as possible. So I could do it every day and not make up those excuses. Now don’t get me wrong. I had a lot of excuses during the 90 days. lot, the weather was terrible. This was probably the most brutal winter that we’ve had in the northeast in a very long time. Quite honestly, I should have taken on this challenge like the year before, this winter was brutal. I was running in the rain, I was running in the snow, it was windy it was it was brutal. So again, having just this one mile, less than 10 minutes outside every day, just kind of helped me build up that habit to run every day and run outdoors, which was really what I wanted to do, I would just add one more thing. When I finally arrived at the 90 days, I actually ran 205 miles, which easy math, it’s a little over two miles per day. So my minimum was at one mile. That’s what I needed to achieve my goal. But on those days where I was feeling really good, the temperature was a little bit warmer, I wanted to run a 5k or 10k, race, virtual race at that time, I did it. And that allowed me to have, you know, on average higher mileage than that minimum one mile per day. So you can definitely set your minimum. But exceed that on those days where you feel like it can go farther or do more those days. But again, don’t make that excuse of trying to do too much, and not achieving your goal for the day.

The third tip is make a plan. And I’m sure all of you have heard the saying, If you fail to plan you’re planning to fail. You have to make a plan. And it doesn’t need to be incredibly strict. In fact, I would advise you not to make a very strict plan. You have to be flexible, because things like I said things happen in life. So you have to be flexible with your plans. You can’t just say oh, well, I plan to run at 7am every day. And I slept till 7:30am. And I have to get to work. Therefore I’m not going to run today, not the best way to approach it. So it’s a good idea to have a plan. If you’re going to run in the mornings, if you’re going to run in the evenings, if you have plans, again for your job or for your family or home is to make a plan around those and prioritize your fitness say okay, well, if I’m going to run every day, at 530, when I get out of work, then everything else has to be scheduled around that. Or vice versa. But just just make that plan. Because if you don’t, you’re gonna find that it’s 9/10 o’clock at night, and you haven’t done your run. And then what are you going to do? And the funny thing is, Brian, Brian Doerr actually shared this story, which is really interesting. He ran into that situation, he’s like, there was times where he put his son to bed, he realized, wow, it’s it’s it’s late, I haven’t even done my run yet. And he would have to hop on the treadmill and do it. And of course you could, you could do that, right. But that’s the best way is to kind of have that plan and get it done. If you plan to do it. After the kids go to bed. That’s fine, too. Just make sure that that’s top of mind for you. The next tip is commit for a minimum of 30 days. And they say volleys I’ve heard this, I’m sure there’s some science behind it, it takes around 28 days or so to to build a habit. So having that commitment is really going to help you not only create the habit, but sustain it over time. And in my case, I was looking to do 90 days. So I wanted to get all the way through winter. And the great thing about it is I was running even after the 90 days actually went to 114 days, which I’ll talk about soon. Because I had built that habit my body was accustomed to running outdoors, at least that one mile every single day. And if I didn’t do it, I noticed it. So make that commitment to run well, in this case to run, make that commitment to create your new habit over the course of 30 days. Speaking of running, if you’ve never run before, if you’ve never run a 5k before, you may have heard of couch to 5k programs. And those are programs designed to help you get from where you are to the point where you can run a 5k and I believe they run around six weeks or so or maybe longer. But that is the amount of time that you need to not only kind of build up to that 5k but also build in that that habit. So if you’re looking to create a habit around fitness, and you want to run let’s say a 5k definitely looking for a program like that, like a couch or 5k program will help you achieve that goal.

And then the fifth tip is create accountability for your habit. And the way I did this was a couple of different ways. The first way is I had a streak tracker app on my phone, and I’ll put a link in the show notes, which was very, very basic. But it literally tracks my running streak every day. And it had a, I took a picture of myself and I had a picture on the app. And then it showed what whatever day it was day one, day two, day three, which isn’t all that interesting, right? You’re just you’re just getting started. But it was kind of cool to see day 15 day 30 day 45. Right, you’re halfway there. And it was nice to see that I was progressing. And I was keeping my commitment. And I was creating this new habit. And I was able to do this through the app. The other way I did this was through the Inspire Virtual Runs community. I was posting just about every day, about my running streak. And I’m sure I’m sure you know, folks are like, all right, he’s on day 24. Okay, enough. But for me, it was really helpful to know that I’m going to share my journey with everybody, I’m going to be vulnerable and want to share with you where I’m at. And knowing that I was going to post it that I had to post it also kind of helped me keep that habit. Again, on those days where I didn’t want to go out in the snow, I didn’t want to go out in the rain. So number five, create that accountability for your habit, whichever way that you can do that through accountability, countability, group, accountability partner, hover which way you can, you can find that. And then I’ll give you a bonus one, reward yourself. Tip number six. So this is not something that I necessarily did for myself. But this is a tip that is recommended by others when you’re creating habits. And you can reward yourself in many different ways. Obviously, you do what makes sense for you. And as long as you do it in a way that doesn’t undermine your habit or undermine your progress, then go for it. For me, the reward was knowing that I was actually able to create this habit because I typically start things and I don’t finish them, right. So to know that I’m progressing through this, and I’m able to finish it. For me, that was my reward. But I’m sharing this bonus tip with you because I know this is this is an important tip to keep folks motivated. And hopefully this helps you. So these are the five tips that I have to share about my own journey and creating this habit, as well as this bonus tip. And this was an I say this was an interesting experience. I say that there are a number of days where I was complaining, I was complaining, like I just said about the cold about the rain about the snow. I was there was so many other things that I complained about. But after I was done, maybe it was that day or that week, and I look back how much further I progressed. It was motivating and inspiring. It was great to see that I was creating this new habit, I was keeping my commitment to the community. And I was accomplishing what I said I would do. So I hope by sharing my story was if this was helpful for you, as you’re thinking about your goals, your lifestyle changes what you want to achieve in life. I hope it was helpful for me to share my own story and journey, as well as these tips to help you create that new habit. Because again, those big changes in life really start with these small steps with with these habits. So just want to wrap up by saying thank you so much again, for listening to this podcast supporting the community. And I’m so grateful for us to not only have reached Episode 30, but also 1000 downloads. And that’s truly amazing. And I appreciate all of you. If you enjoyed this episode, please please, please leave a review. You can go on Apple Podcasts. It’s super simple to leave a review. If you want to share feedback on this episode, or give me tips on other topics you’d want to hear. Just send us an email I’d love to hear from you and answer your questions and bring on other guests and topics that you want to hear. So with that, thanks again and have a great day.

Intro/Outro 19:57

That’s it for this episode of Inspire Virutal Runs Podcast. If you enjoyed this podcast, please leave a review. Also, be sure to click the subscribe button so you don’t miss an episode. Thanks for listening.

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